enzymes

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Enzyme technology is best described as the technology associated with the application of enzymes as the tools of industry, agriculture and medicine. Although the earliest reports concerning exploitation of enzymes were documented in the late 1800’s, true industrial application on enzymes only began in earnest in the late 1960’s. The majority of enzymes used in industrial/biotechnological applications are derived from particular fungi (Aspergillus) and bacteria (bacillus). Safe organisms must be used for customer-related applications. Enzymes are proteins and are nature’s own biocatalysts. Enzymes are produced by living systems to accelerate and sustain the myriad of chemical reactions necessary to sustain life. More than 3000 enzymes catalysing a wide array of reactions are known to exist. The disintegration of foodstuffs to amino acids, sugars, and lipids is normally accomplished within 3-6 hours, depending on the amount and type of food. In the absence of enzymes, hydrolysis by digestive enzymes would take more than 30 years. Enzymes have many advantages over their chemical counterparts in that they are more specific, and generally posse’s high catalytic properties. Enzymes can be immobilised, i.e., an enzymes can be linked to an inert support material without loss of activity that facilitates reuse and recycling of the enzyme. Enzymology is a critical part of understanding the cause of diseases. Most genetic diseases are a result of a particular enzyme deficiency. Similarly certain bacteria are more pathogenic because of an enzyme activity they possess. There are many examples of uses of enzymes in medicine, for example, glucose is always measured by an enzyme based test utilising glucose oxidise. Diabetics use strips of paper... ... middle of paper ... ...egg and human sweat. However, it has become more common in recent years to include a cocktail of enzyme activities including lipases and amylases. Lipases are effective on stains resulting from fatty acids such as oils and fats (and lipsticks!) whilst amylase help remove starchy food deposits. More recently, colour enhancing and ‘anti-bobbling’ washing powders have been developed which contain cellulases. It is thought that the mode of action of such cellulases is to remove detached cellulose fibrils, which cause a progressive dulling of the colour as dirt is trapped on the rough surface of the fabric. The use of enzymes in automatic dishwashing detergents is also becoming more popular. Typical enzyme activities are protease and amylase to remove food particles. Such new products are more environmentally friendly as they contain less bleaching agents and phosphates.

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